Project BTS [RE]Fashion: A Raglan of Monster Proportions

Ouch. That picture is HORRIBLE! You’ll have to deal with it as is for now until I cant get my camera working right again. It was the last picture taken, and of course, it had to be when my camera wasn’t working right. Ugh. Okay, so here we are at project #2 for Project Back to School [RE]Fashion! In case you haven’t been following along before now, I’m taking a gargantuan amount of clothes I can no longer fit into and refashioning them into school clothes for my daughter. Project #1 was a fitted raglan made from a shirt and pajama pants. As you can see, for project #2, I went with the raglan tee again. I really just couldn’t get enough of how quick and easy it all came together! To get the 411 (do people still say that these days??) on how to make your own awesome raglan, Jess from Craftiness is not Optional has got the perfect tutorial to show you how…as well as how to make your own pattern for it! You can find that tutorial here. For this shirt, I used the pattern I made from my Jammies on My Shoulders raglan but shortened it by two inches on the bottom and 1 1/2 inches on the sleeves. I also curved the bottom to give it little touches of difference from the first. This is what I started with: One of the things I have discovered in delving into this project is that there are going to be many pieces I can’t use for my daughter’s clothes simply because the clothes aren’t big enough from side to side to accommodate the width for her pattern pieces. Like I said before, if I ever get to that size again, punch me in the throat and feed me a cheeseburger. Sheesh. I’m pretty confident, however, that with my love of food, I won’t be at teenage sizes again. And we all said, “Amen!” Anywho, because of this, I ended up needing to use more than one shirt to make up hers. The black shirt was one of those silky workout type shirts – very slippery, mostly made up of polyester. The pink and ivory were poly/spandex/cotton blended camis. I used the ivory cami for the sleeves, the black for the back of the shirt as well as the neckline from it, and the pink for the front. I loved the look of the shirt when I finished sewing, but it really just needed something extra. My daughter loves Monster High, and I have to admit, I think they’re pretty darn cool, too! And with the colors in the shirt, doing something with Monster High was the perfect match. I stated scouring the internet for pictures of the different characters, namely Draculaura because she’s my daughter…

Project BTS [RE]Fashion: Jammies on My Shoulders

So, did you think I’d completely given up on Project Back to School [RE]Fashion? Not quite! It’s just been a bit busier than usual around here, so I’m slow going getting things up on the blog. And now I come to you with refashion #1: my Jammies on My Shoulders raglan tee. I got wayyyy too excited about sewing this baby up and totally forgot to take before pictures to show you what I was working with to start. The bodice of the shirt was made from one of the shirts I had that no longer fit. It’s a super soft cotton/poly/spandex blend shirt. I was barely able to get the pattern to fit width wise, but it ended up working out perfectly. I also used the neckline from that shirt instead of making my own like I usually do. All in the name of keeping it simple! I did, however, snap a pic afterwards of the item I used for the sleeves: Super comfy, light weight cotton pajama pants. Yes. Pajama pants. Wrinkles and all. (That’s why that ironing board comes in so handy!) I thought the plaid print would add that perfect touch to this basic shirt. I’ll let you know how it all came together, but first, the final result: I sewed this us while my little girl was at Grandma’s and was on pins and needles waiting for her to return home so I could find out if she liked it or not. Needless to say, she wasn’t in the house more than enough time to set her things down before I was begging her to try it on. And she LOVED it! Since I was too excited about it all, we decided on an impromptu photo shoot (aka I’ll go grab my phone real quick while you stand in my sewing room and smile with your fresh-from-the-pool hair). It all works, right?! I used a shirt that we had recently purchased that fit her wonderfully to create my own pattern. The bodice curved just a bit to add a more fitted look. I also kept the new pattern long like the shirt I was drawing it from. I love the length. It will take her longer to grow out of, and in the meantime I don’t have to worry about random tummy flashes. Win/win. Best of all: she loves it. In fact, she insisted on wearing it two days later to her Open House at school. She really knows how to stroke my ego. Haha This is her OH MY GOSH I LOVE IT! face. In fact, her exact words were that she was “positively positive” that she loved it. 🙂 I can’t express to you how easy this all came together! Really. Truly. Jess from Craftiness is not Optional did a wonderful tutorial on…

Project Back To School [RE]Fashion

It’s that time again! School starts for us here in just two short weeks, and that means new clothes for the new year. Fortunately, I currently only have one in school, and she’s in 2nd grade, which will help considerably when trying to sew a new wardrobe in a short time span. Every year like clockwork, she hits a growth spurt just as Fall rolls around – and of course, that falls in line perfectly with actually needing new clothes for school. In the past (not having had the knowledge to sew myself) it’s been the traditional trips to the stores, spending money that you had to scrape together in the first place, and ending up with things that don’t last that long anyway. This year, however, will be much different. I cut my teeth on sewing literally 6 months ago. And trust me, I have a LOT to learn still. I got extremely good at sewing infant onesies that I had designed myself and opened up shop. But unlike what most people think (you know, the ones that have the idea that if you can sew one thing, you can do it all), I have quite a ways to go. I hope to never stop learning. I catch onto things very quickly, so I think that helps a ton, and I have a true desire to make things – and make them great. Early this year, the company my husband worked for ended up laying off 20% of their company world-wide. This unfortunately included the entire office my husband worked in and all of their department. We live in a major aircraft industry hub and always avoided areas in that profession to avoid the worry of getting laid off. Ha. Ha. Ha. Lesson learned. It can happen anywhere, folks. He was finally able to find work here a couple of months ago, but it put a major strain on a single income family with three kids. And when you’re trying to regain your footings, the thought of school shopping and all the dollar signs that entails can be entirely overwhelming. Then I remembered…Hey, I sew now! And major bonus on top of that: I just had baby number 3 (well, almost 9 months ago, but for my waist line’s sake, let’s call it just). It’s really more of a bonus for the kids because now I have hoards of clothes that I’ll never fit into again. Literally. Never. And if I do, someone please punch me in the throat and tell me to go eat a cheeseburger. Now I have all of these clothes taunting me relentlessly with dollar signs that I see flying out of the window since I can’t wear them anymore. So what better way to put them to use than to refashion them into things the kids can wear? And on top…

Make your very own Pieces of My Heart Tee!

I must warn you…this tutorial is packed FULL of images! This shirt was created by refashioning a super soft v-neck tee from Old Navy. It was the hub’s, but he never wore it, and it was basically brand stinkin’ new, so I felt the need to show the shirt some love. Hubs, however, didn’t feel quite as big of a need. (You should’ve seen his face when he walked into the room with his cut up shirt laying on the floor!) Ha! Luckily for me, he’s more for appeasing my creativity need than hoarding huge stashes of clothes in his closet that never see the light of day. Seriously. He has more clothes than me…by at least three times. Sheesh. Anywho, if you’d like to make your own version of my Pieces of My Heart Tee, here’s what you’ll need: old t-shirt large enough to cut out your pattern (I used an XL for a girl’s size 7 shirt) printed image of heart shape in the size you’d like (I chose mine from MS Word clip art) knit fabric in contrasting color for neck binding (cut on bias, 1.5″ wide) knit fabric scraps 2″ wide and a few inches longer than the distance from left to right of your printed heart square of knit fabric large enough to cut out printed heart thread matching t-shirt color, and thread matching knit fabric for neck binding 1/4″ elastic sewing machine (no serger needed!) iron and starch (Yes, I press EVERYTHING when I sew. Makes it neater that way!) Before you get started, click HERE to see what problems I ran across while trying to make this and how I remedied them (coming soon). Could be a huge time saver for you so you don’t repeat my mistakes! Start with the t-shirt you are going to refashion. Cut all of the seams away to leave you with two pieces of fabric. This makes it sooo much easier to work with. It’s almost as if you are working with fabric you brought home from the store. You’ll want to make your pattern next. I drafted mine from scratch so I can start to get the feel for it. However, I would recommend grabbing a shirt you already know fits well and use it as a starting point. Shwin&Shwin has a great tutorial on drafting a shirt pattern here. I did, however, attach the sleeves in my pattern to the bodice piece (testing things out to see what grants certain looks). You can do it either way for this project. I would say that the sleeves for this shirt need to be a bit longer than a standard tee for the ruching we’ll do later. Once you’ve drafted your pattern, fold…

Pieces of My Heart Tee Refashion Project

Here I am for my very first sewing tutorial! But first, can I just say that this girl is absolutely STUNNING in the evening light?! Well, any light if you ask me. That’s MY girl. 🙂 So naturally, I’m pretty darn partial. Okay, now that I’ve gotten the important information out of the way…back to MY FIRST SEWING TUTORIAL EVER! (If you can’t tell, I’m a bit excited to be writing this.) This shirt was a culmination of several ideas all thrown into one. Add in a few adjustments, several learning lessons (we’ll get to those later…yikes!), and the excitement and anticipation of not only myself but my daughter, and it made for one heck of a first time experience. The original idea in my head didn’t exactly translate in the final product, but I did learn along the way certain things to help that in the future. Here’s the deal: Even if it doesn’t work out just the way you envisioned, THAT’S OKAY. Really. It is. Because that just means you have another piece to add to your collection of accomplishments, and when you do figure out how to make exactly what you’re seeing in your head, it was like a two-for-one deal. And sometimes, you may just end up the first time with something you like better than what you were dreaming about. The whole “THAT’S OKAY” concept is something I still have to remind myself of…even with this shirt. But, I’m getting there. And when this darling girl was showering me with her excitement and praise of a job well done, how could I not accept the fact that it wasn’t what I had set out to make? It doesn’t hurt that she can’t see inside my head to know what the original plan was, either. So, to her, it’s exactly what I wanted. Want to find out how to make this for someone that holds pieces of your heart from an old t-shirt and some fabric scraps? Check out the tutorial here for a step-by-step. And for even more info (on what NOT to do), click HERE (coming soon) to find out exactly what went wrong and what I learned from it so you don’t make the same mistakes, too. Hey, we’re all in this together, right?! BY THE WAY…if you love how these pictures turned out as much as I do, please go grab yourself a copy of Style That Kid Ebook by the lovely Alida from Alida Makes! Her book is packed FULL of amazing tips and instructions for getting great blog photos or photos to showcase your work. And, it’s super easy to read through and chock full of…